Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow was in Los Angeles yesterday to help celebrate the city’s designation as a Blue Community.
Los Angeles is now the first major city in the U.S. to turn “blue,” joining cities around the world including Paris, France, Bern, Switzerland and Montreal in Canada to take clear steps to protect public water services.
“Protecting our water must be a global project,” said Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow. “In the past 10 years we have seen this movement grow in Canada, Europe, South America, and now our made-in-Canada idea has made it in Los Angeles.”
The Blue Community initiative commits the city to recognizing water and sanitation as human rights, promoting safe water and wastewater services and to phasing out the sale of bottled water at municipal events.
Squeezed between nativists who seek to obliterate the world trading system for their own purposes and neo-liberals who want to use trade regimes to erode public power, the ongoing debate is missing a vision of a progressive system of trade rules. Too often, progressives end up rejecting trade agreements instead of proposing avenues for transforming world trade.
To address some of these questions, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Trade Justice Network held a day-long symposium in Ottawa on October 30 titled “Beyond Neo-Liberalism: Toward an Agenda for People and the Planet.”
When the federal election results first started rolling in October 21, I was overcome with a feeling that nothing was really changing. In Atlantic Canada, we barely broke the Liberal stronghold from the 2015 election with only one seat flipping in Nova Scotia. But as the results continued coming from the rest of Canada, I felt more optimistic. With a minority government, we have a new opportunity to work for the sustainable and just future we need and want. In Nova Scotia, that means a new opportunity to fight offshore drilling and perhaps, bigger picture, the corporate capture that put us in this situation to begin with.